I had slightly stalled on the ‘Alphabites’ series for a number of reasons, but not least because I was a bit stumped by ‘E’. I even did an internet search on food beginning with E and there was nothing that really jumped out at me. I thought about doing something to do with eggs, and then I remembered an excellent recipe I had recently come across and made for an Egg Free Cake, and I decided to share that.
After the discovery of decent food gels and the success of the Harlequins Battenberg two years ago, I decided to attempt a rubix cube themed Battenberg cake for Lionel’s birthday this year. The result of several hours’ work was a definite crowd pleaser – both visually (once it was cut in to!) and on the taste buds. Here’s the journey I went on, step by step so that you can travel it too.
Last year I made my first rainbow cake: in many ways it was a great success, but I felt let down by the colours. So I purchased some Sugarflair paste colours and it’s taken me until now to have a chance to try them out.
And WHAT a difference. The tiniest amount of paste (often less than 0.25 of a tsp) stirred into the batters produced a wonderfully vibrant colour. (Slightly terrifyingly vibrant in some cases – I was worried that people wouldn’t actually want to eat the ca
ke as it looked so artificial – but they did!)
I’m excited by the prospect of many bright cakes, icings etc.! Here are some photos of the process, and also one of the contrast between last year’s cake, using regular
supermarket purchased food colourings (where I had a use a large quantity to even achieve the slightly muted colours) and this year’s vibrant success! The colours I used were: Christmas Red, Tangerine, Melon, Mint Green, Baby Blue and Lilac.
Paul and Mary surprised me in this year’s Great British Bake Off by not knowing what Ugne was referring to when she said she was going to make an ‘ombré cake’. Now I’m no GBBO judge, but even I have heard of ombré, and not just referring to a way of dying your hair, which was how she explained it to them. Since making my rainbow cake I have been wanting to make an ombré cake and my friend’s hen party seemed like the perfect opportunity. For those who have been following neither the Great British Bake Off nor celebrity hair trends, ombré describes the gradual blending of one colour hue to another.
I decided, as it was a hen do, to make a heart shaped cake and to make the inside colour pink. I borrowed another friend’s heart shaped cake tin and this is what I did:
Sometimes I bake without using food colouring. This, however, was not one of those times. Lionel supports Harlequins rugby team so for his birthday I decided to make him a Harlequins themed Battenberg style cake. Fortunately, the Quins have a checkerboard with their colours in. Unfortunately these colours include brown and grey. Mmmm, grey cake.
I got hold of my tried and tested Battenberg recipe (adapted from BBC Good Food), along with some pink, blue and black (for the grey) food colouring, and some cocoa for the brown section. (If one needs to eat brown cake then it should at least be chocolate flavoured).
Following the joy of my rainbow cupcakes I decided to make a full size rainbow cake. It took me about two years. Not to make it (that would be a serious commitment, and would raise many questions I’m sure), but to finally get round to doing it. I searched around for the best recipe and settled on this recipe.
I love colour. And I love baking. A couple of years back I decided that making rainbow cupcakes would be an excellent use of an evening. And it was. I used a regular cupcake recipe, then divided the batter in to 6 ramekins. (Yes, I know there are 7 colours in the rainbow strictly speaking). Using food colouring I dyed each tiny pot of batter a different colour of the rainbow. Then I set about filling the cupcake cases. A tiny amount of purple in the bottom of each case, put in and spread using a teaspoon. Then a tiny amount of blue, applied even more carefully so it doesn’t mix with the purple. Then green, then yellow, then orange and then red.
My friend is coming round for afternoon tea but she has recently gone gluten free. I can’t go to any of my go to recipes and I don’t have any gluten free flour in the cupboard. I have a scroll through some websites and come across a nice looking gluten free lemon drizzle cake. Scanning my eyes down the list of ingredients one thing jumps out at me – mashed potato! Mashed potato – in a cake – is this a thing?! When did this become a thing? Potato cakes as a savoury item, sure, but in a sweet cake? Well, always (or perhaps just sometimes) one for adventure I decide to give it a go.